Surgery

Most common cause of acquired hypoparathyroidism.

In most cases, patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism have had thyroid surgery (approximately 75% of cases).

Any of the following surgeries can result in parathyroid damage:

  • Surgery on or the total removal of the thyroid or parathyroid glands
  • Surgery on structures near the parathyroid glands
  • Surgery to remove cancer in the neck

If you have had thyroid surgery, your doctor may test your blood calcium and PTH levels after surgery. If your levels have not returned to normal after 6 months, you may have chronic hypoparathyroidism.

Autoimmune or Genetic

Second most common cause

Autoimmune hypoparathyroidism can occur alone or as part of a condition involving multiple autoimmune disorders associated with the endocrine glands.

Radiation treatment

Very rare cause

Radiation treatment for cancer of the head or neck (or radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism) can damage the parathyroid glands.

Unknown or “Idiopathic”

Very rare cause

Some cases of hypoparathyroidism appear due to unknown causes. Doctors refer to such conditions as “idiopathic.”

 

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